The investigation out of Brooklyn includes scrutiny of whether Ukrainian officials used Rudy Giuliani to spread misleading claims about then-candidate Joe Biden in an effort to bolster then-President Donald Trump’s election prospects, the people told the Times.
According to the Times, the Brooklyn prosecutors are focused on several current and former Ukrainian officials thought to have worked to influence the US presidential election by pushing unfounded claims about Biden in multiple ways, including through Giuliani, who was Trump’s personal lawyer at the time.
In the course of the investigation, officials looked at a trip Giuliani had taken to Europe in 2019, when he met with multiple Ukrainians, the people told the newspaper. At least one of the Ukrainian officials whom Giuliani met with, Parliament member Andriy Derkach, has become a focus of the investigation.
Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, told the Times on Thursday, “When you investigate allegations of corruption, you talk to all sorts of people; some are credible, and some are not” as he defended Giuliani’s efforts.
In executing the search warrants in April, authorities seized 18 electronic devices, the Justice Department said, and they took the devices following a period during which Giuliani and Trump had made efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Giuliani has not been charged with a crime. He has said his activities in Ukraine were done in his capacity as Trump’s lawyer and that he “never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government.”